Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life Can't Be Detected Because Too Many TVs?

I know I should stick to the more mainstream science, but had to report something that made me smile.  At the National Science Academy’s first conference on the possibility of alien life, Frank Drake said:
Satellite TV and the “digital revolution” was making humanity invisible to aliens by cutting the transmission of TV and radio signals into space. The earth is currently surrounded by a 50 light year-wide “shell” of radiation from analogue TV, radio and radar transmissions. According to Drake, digital TV signals would look like white noise to a race of observing aliens.
So basically now, everytime we discover a new planet whose radiation amounts to being equivalent to white noise we have to ask ourselves "Perhaps this is really a civilization with such extensive technology that it appears as white noise?" :)

Another gem from the conference by Martin Rees:
[Extra terrestrials] could be staring us in the face and we just don’t recognize them. The problem is that we’re looking for something very much like us, assuming that they at least have something like the same mathematics and technology.
I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there as aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.
Now don't get me wrong, even though I am presenting this in a humorous tone, technically they may be correct.


Speaking of aliens, apparently this is how Canadians justified their loss to the US in hockey.

Oh Canada. (Said with a sigh, not in reverence to their national anthem.)


  1. We who says we should be sending our television signals to aliens? I have to pay for my Satellite television, why shouldn't they? =:)

  2. I guess if we could convince everyone in the world to turn off and on our electronics at the same time we could really give the aliens a show.

  3. It's pulsars! I think the LGM naming convention was dropped prematurely.

    (One alien scientist to another: "Guess what! I just picked up a RADIO signal from a primitive race!"

    Second scientist: "Primitive indeed! They can't even make their own pulsar.")

  4. This is sad for this canadian woman, may be I can comfort her :) .


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